MPs vote to protect marriage beliefs
Wed, 30 Jan 2013
MPs have voted 86-31 in favour of a proposal to protect people’s beliefs about marriage.
The vote, which is not binding, came at the end of a debate led by Edward Leigh MP who wants changes to be made to the Equality Act 2010.
It was inspired by the case of Adrian Smith, a housing manager who was demoted for saying privately that gay weddings in churches would be “an equality too far”.
Mr Leigh also referred to the recent European Court of Human Rights decision against a Christian registrar who was pushed out her job because of her beliefs about marriage.
He said the ruling means “an employee who is ordered to go against their conscience on marriage has few, if any, legal rights to protect them; that is why we need an amendment to the Equality Act”.
Mr Leigh said this problem will get “much worse” if the Government redefines marriage.
He said the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, “as presently drafted, does nothing to protect ordinary people’s conscientious views”.
He called for the legislation to undergo the proper scrutiny of the whole House of Commons, rather than being “fast-tracked”.
Though the Bill is unlikely to become law, the vote shows that MPs believe more needs to be done to protect those who support traditional marriage.